Under Fire Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Lamuse return to the trench after helping the sappers?

2. Near the last stretch of his journey to bring the wounded Joseph to safety, the narrator encounters a wounded man that he compares to which of the following?

3. Who is eager to prove themselves as a new cook?

4. While on leave, the men see a poster in a store's window display which depicts which of the following?

5. What do the men note about the commandant?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The author demonstrates that in the war, life is cheap. Soldiers on both sides die for mundane reasons with no clear gain. The poilus of Bertrand's squad and others show that the deaths of strangers mean little to them, and the death of friends is common and unremarkable, though sad.

Part 1) Cite and explain examples from the book to show how the author establishes the poilus' attitude towards death..

Part 2) Discuss the theme of the cheapness of life. What are some of the smallest and most meaningless reasons that soldiers die in the novel? How do the soldiers react to these events?

Part 3) Do the men of Cpl. Bertrand's squad seem aware of the cheapness of their own lives? How do they deal with the nearly constant threat of death, and the knowledge that death may mean nothing?

Essay Topic 2

The machine gun is a feared weapon on the battlefield, and rightly so. Its effectiveness is seen in detail in the chapter "Under Fire," and the men discuss it on many occasions. It is the primary reason for the existence of trench warfare, and the cause of most of the misery on which the book centers. The machine gunners themselves represent an almost élite class in the army, being specially favored targets for retribution and looting, and receiving a variety of favors from their own side.

Part 1) Use information from the book to explain what a machine gun is and its impact on warfare in the time of the novel.

Part 2) Explain the men's perceptions and fears about machine guns. Cite specific examples to justify or disprove these perceptions.

Part 3) Discuss some of the ways that machine gunners are treated differently from other soldiers, both by their own forces and by the enemy. Why do these men receive this treatment?

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the novel, and in particular in the chapter "Bombardment," it is shown that the men have an intimate knowledge of artillery weapons used by both sides. Although these weapons seem to intercede only occasionally, their effect is devastating and seemingly random. The men have a strange mixture of admiration, respect, and fear of these weapons, mixed in with a strange kind of superstition developed over the course of many months spent trying to avoid death at the hands of these random killers.

Part 1) Using information from the book, discuss some of the types of artillery employed by both sides. How effective and accurate are these weapons?

Part 2) Describe the level of knowledge that the soldiers seem to have of the various kinds of artillery employed against them. Explain some of their more rational beliefs and fears.

Part 3) Explain some of the soldiers more irrational beliefs and fears about the artillery. Speculate about why these almost superstitious fears and practices came into being.

(see the answer keys)

This section contains 636 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
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